Mini-Chap Review: “There are over 100 Billion Stars in our Galaxy”

Canaan Anthony Whitston, Ghost City Press. May 2018.

Review by Erin Wahl

This is Canaan Anthony Whitston’s first chapbook, though he shares a good portion of his creative life with the world online (he’s definitely worth a “follow”). It can be hard to write a good love poem, but here I see Whitston managing it well, not just writing a poem to a person but managing to construct the world around them as he does it. There are some really delightful lines throughout his poetry: “take these bones/half dumb with only good intentions” and some great moments where his humor shines through: “light a fire and let me be the flame/(like a fuckin sick flamethrower) … ‘looks like something happened over there’/they’ll say”. Eschewing capitalization and most punctuation (except for the well-placed comma), what really marks these poems for me is use of line breaks. These really teach me how to read his poems, and without them this book wouldn’t work as well. This is a good first book for Whitston, and I think we can expect more of the same from him from here.

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